Bristol, R.I. – The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA) announced today the overwhelming success of its Youth Summer Boatbuilding Programs. The four programs ran concurrently in Newport, Westerly, Bristol and North Providence. In total, 49 students ages 14-16 were introduced to workplace readiness skills in the marine industry, including: shop safety, project planning, leadership skills, team work, basic hand tool operation and the importance of being on time to a work site. Each program ran for 20 hours each week for a total of 100 hours and was funded through Real Jobs RI.

The Newport program was a collaboration between IYRS School of Technology and Trades and RIMTA and consisted of 10 students who built two cedar strip planked canoes with woven seats. The program was partially funded by van Beuren Charitable Foundation and took place in Restoration Hall at IYRS. The students also experienced a sailing adventure on Newport Harbor on the sloop Eleanor.

The Westerly Education Center (WEC) program was produced in partnership with WEC, the Community College of Rhode Island and RIMTA. It was funded by Real Jobs RI and the Westerly Education Endowment fund. Through these partnerships and funding, 13 students built two 12-foot Bevins Skiffs out of marine plywood.

The Bristol program was held at the Herreshoff Marine Museum. Six students finished building a Herreshoff 18-foot Dory and two paddle boards.

In the North Providence program, 20 students built a 14-foot Solo Flats Skiff that will be used by future boatbuilding programs. The students were introduced to post-secondary education options with a tour of IYRS.

“We are so proud of all of our participants this year,” said Brian Dursi, Executive Director, RIMTA. “Each student showed a great deal of interest in the topics covered and a dedication to the tasks they were given. Our hope is that programs like these inspire future boat builders to seek careers in the marine industry.”

For more information about RIMTA, please visit


About RIMTA:
Rhode Island’s long tradition of boat building and hosting competitive sailing events has given rise to a vibrant marine trades sector. From boat builders to manufacturers, marinas, retailers, yacht and charter brokers, sailmakers, and schools and educational programs, the Ocean State has a concentrated nexus of expertise that is unparalleled in any other area of the country. The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, or RIMTA, is the trade association that links these marine businesses together and works in concert with industry, government and other nonprofits to coordinate the programs and policies that give this sector an edge in the global recreational boating business.